Republicans are spending big in their effort to defeat Richard Carmona, who is running for the Senate in Arizona. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
During the final week of the Arizona Senate race, supporters of Rep. Jeff Flake (R) and former Surgeon General Richard Carmona (D) are expected to spend almost $7.5 million, according to a Republican source who tracks media buys.
Both sides are investing heavily, although Republicans are slated to outspend Democrats by about a 2-to-1 margin. But the Democrats are packing a punch with this new spot:
Republican sources interpret the heavier GOP spending in the final week as a lack of Democratic confidence Carmona’s ability to defeat Flake. But Democratic sources say the Republican spending advantage is a sign of concern on the GOP side.
The amount being spent is somewhat staggering for a state that is not competitive at the presidential level. But it should probably be expected given the advent of super PACs.
Overall spending numbers for the cycle were not immediately available, and media buy tracking is not an exact science. But here is how the teams are spending in the last week, according to that same GOP source:
Pro-Flake: Oct. 29-Nov. 6 total: $4.8 million
Flake campaign: $740K
American Commitment PAC: $750K
Club for Growth: $450K
Ending Spending PAC: $440K
Now or Never PAC: $820K
National Republican Senatorial Committee: $1.6 million
Pro-Carmona: Oct. 29-Nov. 6 total: $2.6 million
Carmona campaign : $650K
American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees: $540K
Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee: $690K
League of Conservation Voters: $280K
LCV/Senate Majority PAC: $430K
As for the content of that DSCC ad, which features a cancer patient attacking Flake, it’s a tactic Democrats have used before. Sen. Jon Tester (D) took a similar tack in July against Rep. Denny Rehberg (R) in their Tossup Montana Senate race:
One unaligned political operative (and a cancer survivor) compared the Arizona ad to this scene, from the Chris Rock movie “Head of State”: